Garnbret wins Climbing World Cup in lead for second time

Beijing, 15 October - Slovenian sport climber Janja Garnbret has secured the overall Climbing World Cup victory in the women's lead discipline in what is her second feat of its kind in a row.

Slovenian sport climber Janja Garnbret
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA
File photo

Garnbret placed third in the penultimate World Cup event in China's Xiamen on Sunday, while her closest rival in the overall rankings, Jain Kim of South Korea, only placed eighth.

Today's event was won by Anak Verhoeven of Belgium, ahead of Ashima Shiraishi of the US.

The 13 top climbers from the qualifications went straight into the finals after the semi-finals were cancelled due to rain. Another Slovenian finalist, Mina Markovič, placed 5th.

Garnbret slipped on an anchor that proved problematic for most other climbers.

"The competition was very delicate as no one knew whether it would go through. With the semis cancelled and uncertainty about the finals... it was quite stressful," the 18-year-old Slovenian champion said.

"This season was the most strenuous of all, which makes me the happier that I held out physically and psychologically, while I also clinched the podium overall in boulders and in the lead."

She said she did not expect to secure the overall World Cup lead as early as today and was very satisfied with her climbing and the result in today's finals.

Garnbret first won the Climbing World Cup in the women's lead discipline last year, succeeding her compatriot Mina Markovič, who accomplished the feat in 2012 and 2013.

Garnbret, who comes from Slovenj Gradec, also won gold in the same discipline at the 2016 Climbing World Championships in Paris.

The Slovenian teenage sensation has proven to be the most versatile climber in the world, having also secured the overall combined win in the World Cup, which also includes bouldering and speed competitions. The latter discipline will feature at the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo.

The Climbing World Cup season will conclude in Slovenia's Kranj on 11 and 12 November.

© STA, 2017